22 January 2019

Malawi: Ras Chikomeni in Solidarity With Women Against Political Terror

Aspiring presidential candidate Ras Chikomeni Chirwa on Tuesday joined Malawi women politicians from across all parties who gathered in Lilongwe to voice out against political violence that is becoming more pronounced as Malawi heads towards the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Ras Chikomeni Chirwa, ho is one of the 18 candidates that have so far collected nomination forms from MEC to contest as an independent presidential candidate.

The dreadlocked presidential candidate said he joined the women because he was concerned that suspected ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets harassed and forced UTM party supporters to undress in Mangochi at the weekend.

The DPP cadets have this year also assaulted UTM Party director of youth Bon Kalindo in Mulanje, and beat up Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporter Edward Govati in Blantyre.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, Ras Chikomeni said the forthcoming elections are not war which will be won by one who managed to physically attack their opponenta but, they are rather a battle of ideas.

"Yeah man, we need to fight on who has better ideas to transform Malawi from its current status. We can have verbal fight discrediting each other's ideas for the electorate to make an informed decision on who to vote for. But, no one is expecting us to be throwing physical blows at each other," he said.

Chikomeni said violence has no place in a democracy and those responsible for the "despicable acts" must be brought to justice.

"In these times we have to come together and send one unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in Malawi's democratic society. We need peace, Rastafari," he said.

Opposition parties and Public Affairs Committee (PAC) have accused the DPP of masterminding rising cases of political violence.

PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole said the DPP are employing what he termed "intimidating tactics" ahead of the elections.

People's Party (PP) spokesperson Ackson Kalaile-Banda said in a statement that the erstwhile governing party is concerned with the spate of political violence perpetrated by alleged DPP cadets.

He said: "It is sad to note that DPP has become a bearer of violence against other political players, dragging the country back to one-party tendencies where alternative voices were labelled as sinful."

DPP has since distanced itself from the cases of political violence with party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi stating that the perpetrators could be "people masquerading as DPP" supporters.

Dausi said DPP is "very peaceful", only that other people are trying to dent its image.

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